WASHINGTON - February 7 - Yesterday, a group of Washington-based conservation groups sent a letter to Congressman Norm Dicks thanking him for his work in securing funds for the repairs needed at Mount Rainier National Park and other parks following the devastating floods of November. The organizations also asked Congressman Dicks to continue to strive for the remaining funds needed to complete the renovation.
“Park supporters are thrilled that Representative Dicks continues to champion our national parks importance to the Washington economy, environment and quality of life,” said Sean Smith, NPCA’s Northwest regional director.
Heavy flooding in November caused tremendous damage to national parks in the northwest region, with repair estimates in the front country of Mount Rainier National Park alone totaling $36 million. Damage at other parks included washouts along the Hoh Road in Olympic National Park and two campgrounds completely washed away at North Cascades National Park. The initial cost of repairs at all three parks is more than $40 million. Congressman Dicks has already successfully secured $18 million found in unexpended highway and construction accounts.
In the letter, the conservation groups urged Congressman Dicks and Congress to “…ask the Federal Highway Administration to allocate the remaining funds necessary to repair damage to park roads, as well as pass a supplement appropriations bill authorizing the reconstruction of critical park infrastructure and focus on funding the significant restoration that has yet to be quantified in the backcountry.”
Conservation groups that signed the letter include the National Parks Conservation Association, Washington Wilderness Coalition, Audubon Washington, Student Conservation Association, Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce, National Wildlife Federation, Western Water Trails, Earth Ministry, Washington Trails Association, Volunteers for Outdoor Washington and The Wilderness Society.
For updated information on Northwest parks and public lands recovery, please visit: http://nwstormrecoverycoalition.blogspot.com/